ABC7's Laura Podesta spoke with ribbers Jim Clayton and Chris Hanley shared some of their secrets to rib success.
Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico, DuPage Pads Director Carol Simler and Ribfest Chairperson Diane Simmons also spoke on what rib lovers will find at this year's fest.
Ribfest is celebrating its 30th year this year. As always, there's a nationally recognized competition among ribbers - local and out-of-state - to determine who has the best ribs, the best sauce and the best ribs for kids.
"It's a very fair process, let me tell you. We give the oath. Everyone has to be honest and fair. Blind tasting," Chirico said. He's one of the judges this year.
The perfect rib must be tender, yet crispy, sweet and have just enough kick.
"We're very competitive. We like to win. But we are friends with everyone here. It's a brotherhood, it really is," said Hanley, manager of Armadillo's BBQ.
Armadillo's BBQ Grill Master Jake Chinn served up a few tips for getting his rack of ribs ready.
"The tenderness comes out of the smoker, the way we some them. So when they come to the grill, you just have to be careful. Turn them and don't burn them," Chinn said.
Ribfest isn't all about food. About $15.5 million have been raised over the last 30 years to help end child abuse and domestic violence.
There are dozens of bands and acts scheduled to perform. Toby Keith will take the stage Friday night, The B-52s on Saturday, Shinedown on Sunday and The Wallflowers on Monday.
Want a chance to win four free VIP tickets to see The B-52s at 8 p.m. Saturday?
Head to the ABC 7 Chicago Facebook page and comment on the Ribfest post Friday morning. Tell us - or show us - your most creative way to make mouth-watering ribs. We'll choose one of the comments - and give away the four free tickets. Good luck!
CLICK HERE FOR CONTEST RULES
Ribfest runs from Friday, June 30 to Monday, July 3 at Knoch Park. Gates will be open from noon to 10 p.m. daily. CLICK HERE for more information.